January 3, 2004

Tapped on the Shoulder

A few nights ago, we noticed this noise in the living room. I would get up and check it out. Was there someone at the door? Tap tap tap. Just as I would emerge from the bedroom, the noise would end. This happened several times. Tap tap tap. Out of bed in my pajamas, I pad barefoot looking for around for the source of the noise. Nothing. Back to bed. Tap tap tap. Repeat. Was there someone messing with us outside?

There's a homeless shelter a block and a half away from us where they serve free dinners to the unfortunate indigents. So there would be no surprise if some guy was knocking his gear against the glass block that forms the outer walls of our place. I imagined some dude looking like a scary Jesus, knocking a tin against the wall to get that last Vienna Sausage. So I put my boots on and I grab my trusty studio jacket and I take Juno outside to go pee. The homeless give me wide berth when I'm out with my 85 lb black French Shepard. She looks like the devil, but they don't know she's a pussy willow.

Nope. No dude was making the noise. But I did notice something new. Our landlords affixed a "for lease" sign out on the corner of the building. That's cool. The bungie chords would whip against the glass block windows as the wind would act up. That must be it.

So over the days, we got used to the new sound. Tap tap tap. Sometimes weak, sometimes hard. Tap tap tap. Tap tap tap. (A whisper: taptaptap.) Tap tap tap.

Tonight, as we were in bed, the topic of the upcoming move to Spain surfaces, now with a regularity. Two months to start the move, one month to make it. What do we do first, second and third? What's the calendar going to look like? What do we take with us? What do we leave behind?

Tap tap tap. The wind is kicking up tonight. Tap tap tap. And then it hit me: this sound is like a finger tapping us on the shoulder. "Hey, you're going to move soon. Hey, you've got a lot to do. Hey, you've got eight weeks to go."

Stephanie recalled that this reminds her of Poe:

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door--
Darkness there and nothing more.

Posted by Dennis at January 3, 2004 1:18 AM

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